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CENTRAL OPERA SERVICE CONFERENCE/BULLETIN Volume 27, Number 1 CENTRAL OPERA SERVICE NATIONAL CONFERENCE AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM la The MetropotttM Opera GaiM'* Fiftieth AwUveray New York - NoTfber I u d 2 , 015 Sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Central Opera Service • Lincoln Center • Metropolitan Opera • New York, NY. 10023 • (212) 799-3467

AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUMThe MetropotttM Opera GaiM'* Fiftieth AwUveray New York - NoTfber Iud2, 015 Sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Central Opera Service •

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    CONFERENCE/BULLETIN Volume 27, Number 1




    The MetropotttM Opera GaiM'* Fiftieth AwUveray

    New York - NoTfber I u d 2 , 015

    Sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council

    Central Opera Service • Lincoln Center • Metropolitan Opera • New York, NY. 10023 • (212) 799-3467

  • I

    i ; i

    Sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council

    Central Opera Service • Lincoln Center • Metropolitan Opera • New York, N.Y. 10023 • (212)799-346?


    Volume 27, Number 1 Spring/Summer 1986



    In Collaboration With "Opera News"Celebrating

    The Metropolitan Opera Guild's Fiftieth Anniversary

    New York - November 1 and 2,1985

    This is the special COS Conference issue. The next number will be again a regularnews issue with the customary variety of subjects and a performance listing.




    Honorary National ChairmanROBERT L.B. TOBIN

    National ChairmanMRS. MARGO H. B1NDHARDT

    National Vice ChairmanMRS. MARY H. DARRELL

    Central Opera Service Bulletin • Vol. 27, No. 1 • Spring/Summer 1986

    Editor: MARIA F. RICHAssistant Editor: CHERYL KEMPLEREditorial Assistants: LISA VOLPE-REISSIG


    The COS Bulletin is published quarterly for its members by Central Opera Service.

    Please send any news items suitable for mention in the COS Bulletin as well as performanceinformation to The Editor, Central Opera Service Bulletin, Metropolitan Opera, Lincoln Center,New York, NY 10023.

    Copies this issue: $12.00Regular news issues: $3.00 ISSN 0008-9508


    Friday, November 1, 1985WELCOME 1

    Margo H. Bindhardt, Central Opera ServiceKatharine T. O'Neil, Metropolitan Opera GuildMartin E. Segal, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS 4John Brademas, New York University

    MOVERS OF OPERA I 11Byron Belt, Newhouse Newspapers - ModeratorBruce Crawford, Metropolitan OperaArdis Krainik, Lyric Opera of ChicagoBeverly Sills, New York City OperaSir John Tooley, Royal Opera Covent Garden

    GUEST SPEAKERS 37Martin E. Segal, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts - IntroductionMrs. Mario M. Cuomo - Personal Greetings from The GovernorRobert L.B. Tobin, Central Opera Service - IntroductionKitty Carlisle Hart, New York State Council on the Arts

    NEW FRONTIERS I 45John Ludwig, National Institute for Music Theater - ModeratorDominiek Argento, ComposerChristopher Keene, New York City Opera; Artpark, Lewiston, NY

    MOVERS OF OPERA II 59Byron Belt - ModeratorDavid Goekley, Houston Grand OperaEvelyn Lear, SopranoNikolaus Lehnhoff, Stage DirectorWolfgang Sawallisch, Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich

    Saturday, November 2, 1985NEW FRONTIERS H 77

    John Ludwig - ModeratorJohn Eaton, Composer; School of Music, Indiana UniversityPeter Sellars, American National Theater, Kennedy Center

    MOVERS OF OPERA HI 89Maria F. Rieh, Central Opera Service - ModeratorJohn O. Crosby, Santa Fe OperaItalo Gomez, Teatro la Fenice, VeniceLotfi Mansouri, Canadian Opera Company, TorontoGerard Mortier, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, BrusselsThea Musgrave, Composer; Virginia Opera

    GUEST SPEAKER 115John T. Lawrence, Jr., Metropolitan Opera National Council - IntroductionHarold Prince, Stage Director; National Institute for Music Theater

    NEW FRONTIERS HI: IN SEARCH OF YOUNG TALENT 124Byron Belt - ModeratorBetty Allen, Harlem School of the ArtsGrant Beglarian, National Foundation for Advancement in the ArtsMargaret Harshaw, Indiana University, BloomingtonJoseph Polisi, Juilliard- School of Music

    CLOSING 147

    Laurence D. Lovett, Metropolitan Opera Guild

    COS ANNUAL OPERA SURVEY (Appendix A) 149


  • Notes to this Issue

    The TRANSCRIPT OF THE COS INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM is published in responseto the many requests for a permanent record of this unique meeting. Rarely does onefind so many distinguished, diverse opera leaders together, and rarer still are we allowedto share in their frank and open discussions. The written record is therefore extremelyvaluable - especially since listeners not infrequently miss some of the points made ordiscussed in so large a forum. We hope that this transcript will offer not only fascinatingreading, but that it will also act as a guide and stimulant to opera producers, directors,conductors, performers, composers, audiences and supporters alike. In addition, theattentive reader will find a number of surprises in the positions taken by some of thespeakers, and will also discover several occasions for chuckles and amusement.

    This is the second COS Conference Transcript published complete in the COS BULLETIN.The first was a record of the 1981 St. Louis Conference "A Guide for Opera Admnistrators,Boards of Dirctors, Trustees and Volunteers." We believe that the current volume willprove equally informative, and will be found to contain many useful facts with practicalapplication for opera professionals and supporters.

    When quoting from this publication, credit must be given to '1985 Central Opera ServiceNational Conference' and to the speaker(s).

    This is Number 1 of the new Volume 27 series. The next issue of the COS BULLETIN willbe again a regular news issue (Vol. 27, No. 2) with the customary variety of subjects anda performance listing.

    - I V -


    photos by Maury Englander

    (left to right)

    John Brademas

    front inside cover

    Bruce Crawford, Beverly Sills

    Byron Belt, Ardis Krainik,Bruce Crawford

    Martin Segal, Mar go Bindhardt,Katharine O'Neil, Bruce Crawford

    Sir John Tooley Mrs. Mario M.Cuomo, Kitty Carlisle Hart

    Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Evelyn Lear John Ludwig, Christopher Keene,Dominick Argento

    back inside cover

    Harold Prince, Peter Mark, Thea Musgrave Kitty Carlisle Hart, Robert L.B. Tobin,Betty Allen

    Peter Sellers, Gerard Mortier Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Wolfgang Sawallisch,Evelyn Lear, David Gockley

    Maria Rich, Italo Gomez 500 in the Sheraton Centre Ballroom

    Grant Beglarian, Margaret Harshaw,Sherrill Milnes

    David Polisi, Lotfi Mansouri


  • Friday, November 1, 1985 - 9:00-9:30 a.m.


    MARGO H. BINDHARDT, National Chairman, Central Opera ServiceKATHARINE T. O'NEIL, President, Metropolitan Opera GuildMARTIN E. SEGAL, Chairman, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

    MARGO BINDHARDT Good morning ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of Central OperaService, a vital part of the Metropolitan Opera National Council, I welcome all of youto the annual Central Opera Service National Conference. We are truly delighted tohave this marvelous registration and this miraculous line-up of panelists and speakers.A record four hundred and fifty attendees representing the United States, Canada, Italy,Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Over 200 organizations are represented.The registrants include general directors, composers, stage directors, artist managers,service organization members and officials, singers, educators, trustees, Guild andMetropolitan Opera National Council members, music publishers, press and patrons. Infact, the registration is exemplary of what Central Opera Service represents. A truecross section of the entire opera world. Our annual conferences have taken us to SanFrancisco, Houston, Miami, St. Louis, Toronto, San Diego, and Washington. In 1983 weheld our conference here in New York City to celebrate the Metropolitan Opera'sCentennial. Last year we had the privilege of being in Chicago to celebrate the thirtiethanniversary of the Lyric Opera Company of Chicago and now here in New York, our1985 Conference has the honor to be held in conjunction with Opera News to celebratethe first half century of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. We all join in the congratulationson this milestone fiftieth anniversary.

    We have a few program changes. We received the following telegram: "You may haveheard that I was recently elected Mayor of the City of Florence. I am truly overtaxedby the duties of my new office and this is why I find myself forced to cancel my visit toNew York. Would you please accept my sincerest apologies and also convey them equallyto the participants. I am wishing you a great success in your undertaking.' Signed,Massimo Bogianckino, Administrator General of the Opera of Paris. We are, however,very fortunate to welcome Italo Gomez, Artistic Director of Teatro La Fenice in Venice-He will be on the panel in Mr. Bogianckino's place. Jo Ann Forman, Director of Educationfor the Metropolitan Opera Guild will graciously replace June Dunbar. Bob Jacobson isrecovering nicely and sends his greetings to all of you. We will certainly miss hispresence. His moderating tasks will be covered by Byron Belt, John Ludwig and Maria Rich.

    We look forward to a very superb conference and I thank you all for being here. It isnow my great privilege to introduce the President of the Metropolitan Opera Guild,Katharine O'Neil, a dynamic lady. [Applause]

    KATHARINE O'NEIL Thank you Margo and congratulations to you Margo for pulling thiswonderful symposium together and for bringing so many people from all over the worldhere to the Sheraton Center. I would also like to say a hearty congratulations to adynamic woman. I am sure that you have all met her even though it is just a little afternine o'clock. You will continue to meet her as she is a mover and shaker of the CentralOpera Service, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the Metropolitan Opera, Maria Rich.[Applause] She has done a whale of a job bringing people in from all over the world. Itis not an easy task. She has done it extremely well and she deserves enormous creditfor this job well done.

    I believe this symposium is going to be fascinating, enlightening and I hope that you allagree that it is kind of a once in a lifetime. I have never seen such a roster of speakers

    - 1 -

  • as well as of attendees. I can not think of a more important and more appropriate personto kick off this conference than Martin E. Segal.

    He is the Chairman of the Board of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is avery distinguished man of arts and letters in his own right. He is a champion of educationwherever he goes. A trustee of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton, a memberof the Visiting Committee, School of Public Health, the John F. Kennedy School ofGovernment, and the Board of Overseers at Harvard College, and a member of the Boardof Visitors, Graduate School, and the University Center of the City of New York. He isalso a member of the Board of Advisors of the Library of America. Mr. Segal wasChairman of the Mayor's Committee on Cultural Policy in 1974 and was the first Chairmanof the Commission for Cultural Affairs of the City of New York, established in 1975.From 1939-1967 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Martin E. SegalCompany and has continued as Chairman of the Board of that company. From 1967-1982, Mr. Segal was a part of Wertheim

  • the Twentieth Century. This is not a doleful group and so I am not going to say thatmost people believe that this century is devoid of creativity. But, when you look backat what has happened in the world of the performing arts in this century, I think it isa century in which we can all be proud, that we can witness the music that was writtenand the drama that was written, the operas that were written, the dance choreographed,the plays written and performed for the first time in this cent'^y, and the film thatwas produced. We hope to illuminate the performing arts of the Twentieth Century.The festival will occupy the halls of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academyof Music, Town Hall, Broadway theaters and, indeed, any space appropriate for whateverwill be presented. It will not be representative of the world. It would be presumptuousto have a festival that represents the world. It will be representative of the best inthe performing arts that are available at this particular time. What we hope to accomplishis to establish an annual festival or bi-annual one in which there is an opportunity forpeople who are interested in the arts to see what the arts have done in the past and tolook to the future with great confidence.

    I come to the pleasure and the honor of introducing your Keynote Speaker.

    When I talk about looking to the future with great confidence, I come immediately tothe pleasure and the honor of introducing your Keynote Speaker. This society of oursis dependent on leadership. It is dependent on people who see the world as it is, andknow how to express the way it should be. That, indeed, is the primary characteristicof our Keynote Speaker. He was born in Indiana in 1927 and has remained a very lustyperson ever since. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1949 andfrom 1950-53 he was a Rhode's Scholar at Oxford University. Then, for twenty-twoyears, he served in Congress as a United States Representative from Indiana and thelast four as the House Majority Whip. In Congress he was a principal author of legislationaffecting education at all levels, affecting the elderly and the handicapped, federalsupport for libraries and museums, and he was a prime architect and supporter of NEA,from the very day that the National Endowment for the Arts was conceived right throughthe time that it became the important representative of the arts on a federal level.

    He serves on the board of a number of public companies and a number of privateorganizations, and non-profit organizations as well. He is Chairman of the Board ofDirectors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Chairman, by appointment ofthe Governor, of the New York State Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities. Heholds honorary degrees from thirty-four colleges and universities. I could go on. But itis clear that we see in this man, who is now President of New York University, we see inhim not only someone who has done in the past what the civilized society requires by wayof leadership on all levels but, in addition, someone who is devoting himself now to thefuture of our city, our state, our nation, and the world. I am delighted, indeed, topresent to you President John Brademas. [Applause]


  • Friday, November 1, 1985 - 9:30 a.m.

    KEYNOTE ADDRESS[Introduction on preceeding page]

    JOHN BRADEMAS, President, New York University

    JOHN BRADEMAS I am honored to address this national conference of the CentralOpera Service, and I am for several reasons glad to be here.

    First, I want to salute the Central Opera Service, which in little more than three decadeshas become our nation's most important source for information on all aspects of opera.And may I congratulate the Metropolitan Opera Guild, as it celebrates its fiftiethanniversary. You and I know that the productions of the Metropolitan continue to inspireopera companies across the land with their excellence and artistry. Often, for many,their first exposure to opera has been the Met, either through attending a productionin New York or seeing one on tour, or by tuning in television and radio broadcasts. Iextend special greetings to COS officers, Robert Tobin and Margo Bindhardt; to theExecutive Director of COS, Maria Rich; to Katharine O'Neil, President of the Guild; andto Martin Segal, Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Morever, I'd liketo welcome all the leaders of opera here today - from both America and abroad.

    When Mrs. Rich invited me to be here today, I thought immediately of a marvelous bookI found nearly fifty years ago in my grandfather's library in a small country town inIndiana. It was The Victor Book of the Opera, published by the Victor Talking MachineCompany. I still have the book - the 1924 edition - with its photographs of Caruso asVasco da Gama, Martinelli as Radames, Melba as Rosina, Gluck as Mimi, Galli-Curci asLakme, Farrar as Manon, and Schumann-Heink as Fides, and as a child I read with fascina-tion the summaries of Rigoletto, Otello and Das Rheingold. So my education in theopera, though modest and fitful, began at a fairly early age and I certainly never thoughtthat I would be appearing, even talking, not singing, before so many luminaries of the opera.

    If during my time in Congress I was active in shaping legislation to assist opera and theother arts, I am pleased to tell you that in my new role as President of New YorkUniversity, my commitment to the arts continues. As some of you know, New YorkUniversity, located in the heart of Manhattan, with fourteen schools and divisions thatrun from upper Fifth Avenue through midtown to Washington Square and down to WallStreet, is, not surprisingly, blessed with a diversity of outstanding programs in the artsof every kind. The Tisch School of the Arts at NYU is one of the nation's foremostcenters for education in the performing and communications arts; its film and drama andtelevision graduates are setting a fast and highly successful pace both in Hollywood andNew York. Our School of Education, Health, Nursing and Arts Professions providesstudents a wide range of arts education courses and is the home of our graduate programin museum studies. The Kurt P. Reimann Opera Studio at New York University presentsfully staged operas. Recent productions include Giannini's The Taming of the Shrew,the New York premiere of Kirke Mechem's Tartuffe and the world premiere of SteveCohen's score based on O. Henry's The Cop and the Anthem. Our Institute for VerdiStudies, the first in the United States to be devoted to the works of the prolific Italiancomposer, is a valuable archive of some twenty thousand letters, documents, scores,librettos and other materials. New York University's Institute of Fine Arts is, of course,the number one center in this country for the study of art history and conservation.And our Grey Art Gallery on Washington Square is as fine a gallery for the exhibitionof serious art as can be found at any university in the United States. So I speak toyou today from the dual perspective of one who, as a Member of Congress, for manyyears helped mold our nation's policies toward the arts and who now leads a universitywith a special commitment to them.


  • . . . I want to say a few words about the challenges facing opera and the other arts inour country, and then offer some thoughts on how we Americans should respond to thesechallenges. I should, at the outset, warn that I intend to speak just as candidly as I liketo think I did when I was on Capitol Hill.

    This morning I want to say a few words about the challenges facing opera and the otherarts in our country, and then offer some thoughts on how we Americans should respondto these challenges. I should, at the outset, warn that I intend to speak just as candidly asI like to think I did when I was on Capitol Hill. First, allow me briefly to reminisce withyou about what we in Washington sought to do for the arts during my own years ofservice in Congress. In the two decades from 1961 to 1981, five Presidents of theUnited States - Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter - as well as bothDemocrats and Republicans in Congress, championed support for the arts from our nationalgovernment. As you may know, I was one of the sponsors of legislation that gaverecognition to the importance of the arts - through the National Endowment for the Artsand other measures - and for ten years I chaired the congressional subcommittee withresponsibility for these initiatives.

    The focus of Federal encouragement to the arts has, of course, been the National ArtsEndowment, the twentieth birthday of which we celebrate this year. Legislation creatingthe NEA and its companion, the National Endowment for the Humanities, was probablythe single most important measure ever enacted in our country in support of the life ofthe mind and of the imagination. The law establishing the two Endowments puts thecase for the use of Federal tax dollars for these purposes succinctly: 'It is necessaryand appropriate for the Federal government to help create and sustain not only a climateencouraging freedom of thought, imagination and inquiry but also the material conditionsfacilitating the release of this creative talent.'

    I was also, with my Senate colleague, Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, author of twoother measures that opened new doors to the arts. One, the Museum Service Act offers,through the Institute of Museum Services, modest but invaluable grants for generaloperating support to museums of every kind - art, history, science and technology - andto zoos and botanical gardens. The other statue, the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act,provides indemnification by the Federal government to protect arts and other artifactsfrom foreign countries exhibited in American museums. Since its enactment in 1975,this program has indemnified some two hundred exhibits - including the Dresden,Tutankhamen, Picasso, Pompeii and Vatican shows - with only one request to pay a claimfor loss or damage.

    Let me say a few more words about the impact of these several vehicles of Federalsupport for the arts. From the outset, the legislation authorizing the Arts Endowmentmakes clear that private initiative should continue to be the principal source of fundsfor the arts. The Endowment was envisioned as a catalyst, with special Challenge andTreasury Grants requiring a match of three non-Federal dollars for each Federal dollar.This formula has been immensely successful in attracting private support for and instimulating public interest in the arts. In 1965, when the Endowment was created, therewere relatively few professional non-profit performing arts organizations in the UnitedStates. In so large a country as ours, there were but twenty-seven opera companies,fifty-eight orchestras, twenty-two professional theaters and thirty-seven dance companies.There were only seven state arts agencies. But today, twenty years later, we have onehundred and sixty-eight opera companies, one hundred and ninety-two orchestras, threehundred and eighty-nine theaters and two hundred and thirteen dance companies. Andin every state in the Union there is now a full-time state arts agency.


  • For opera this extraordinary growth has been accompanied by a similar explosion in therange of the repertory performed, the number of performances and the size of audiences.The latest COS opera survey reveals that the total repertory for 1984-85 consisted offive hundred and seventy-eight different operas as compared to three hundred and thirty-one operas in 1964-65. The number of opera performances annually increased from 4,176to 10,642 over the past two decades. Last season, 14.1 million people went to the operaas compared to 6 million in 1970. Moreover, last year there were operatic seasons inall fifty states and the District of Columbia. Maria Rich, in her annual opera survey,appearing in the current issue of Opera News, tells us succinctly how widely availableopera has become in the United States. She says:

    'Boris Godunov in Arizona, Salome in Mississippi, Der fliegende Hollander in Hawaii, andseventeen productions of Aida in cities in Delaware, Wisconsin, Indiana, Texas, Ohio,California, New York, Louisiana and Michigan are representative of the scope and stateof opera in the United States in 1984-85. While the major companies are expected tomount the 'grand' operas, it may come as a surprise to find such works as Otelloperformed in Reno, Providence, and Rochester (NY), Falstaff in Omaha, and Cooperstown(NY), Trovatore in, among other places, Knoxville, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte, andFidelio in Sarasota.'

    It must be obvious that opera as well as arts activities and culture generally in theUnited States, stimulated by an enlightened policy on the part of the national government,blossomed and flourished after 1965.

    For the past four-and-a-half years, however, we have had a different picture. We havehad a President of the United States determined to reverse the bipartisan commitmentto the arts I have just described to you. Indeed, Ronald Reagan is the first President ofthe last quarter century to have mounted an assault on programs to support the arts.Presidents Nixon and Ford, Kennedy, Johnson and Carter - all called for increased Federalspending for the arts. Although an actor, Ronald Reagan broke that bipartisan tradition.Recall if you will that immediately on coming into office, President Reagan announceda radical change in Federal policy toward education and toward cultural activitiesgenerally. Urging more private, state and local support, he proposed slashing funds forthe two Endowments in half and said we should simply abolish the Institute of MuseumServices.

    As you know, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined to reject such drastic actions.

    As you know, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined to reject such drastic actions.Nevertheless, significant cuts were made in funds for the National Arts Endowment, and,after 1981, for the first time in the history of the agency, its budget declined. Insubsequent years, the Reagan Administration has continued to press for reduced supportof the arts. This year, for example, Mr. Reagan sought to cut the NEA budget by 11.7percent, from $163.6 million.to $144.5 million, and he still wants to eliminate the Instituteof Museum Services. Of particular interest to all of you should be that President Reaganwants to slash support for opera and musical theater by nearly a fifth, to $4.9 million.The reaction to his proposal in the opera community was, not surprisingly, swift andangry. 'I'm just appalled', said Beverly Sills, General Director of the New York CityOpera. 'It will be very difficult for any of us to recoup the amounts we lose, but forthe smaller companies, for whom the percentage of government support is a bigger percentof the budget, it may be a disaster', said Tony Bliss, former General Manager of theMetropolitan Opera. Dr. David DiChiera, General Director of Detroit's Michigan OperaTheater, remarked, 'There's no financial margin for us...and this is where...public supportone gets from the Endowment is so important.' And Martin Kagan of Opera America,


  • a trade association for professional opera companies, noted that opera is 'the mostexpensive of all the art forms to produce.'

    Much of the Administration rhetoric justifying its reductions contends that the arts mustbear their share of bringing down the Federal deficit. But the $200 billion deficit, Iremind you, is the direct effect of the huge tax cut of 1981 on which Mr. Reaganinsisted combined with the huge increase in military spending which he also demanded.That $200 billion deficit is certainly not the result of wild-eyed spending on the arts,humanities and museums! Still another Reagan rationale for attacking Federal funds forthe arts is that state and local governments together with private philanthropy can makeup the difference. But that's just not so. It is certainly true that these other sourceshave increased their contributions to the arts, and we are all glad of that.

    But despite this growth in non-Federal support for the arts, it is nonsense to expectthat state and local governments, corporations and foundations can fill the immense gapin funds for the arts, education and social services that would be the consequence ofthe budgets Mr. Reagan proposes. In this connection, according to the respected non-partisan Urban Institute, support provided by the Federal government to non-profitorganizations in the United States during the current fiscal year is a full $17 billionbelow that made available in 1980. That drop alone - $17 billion, to repeat - is morethan double the $7.8 billion contributed to organizations such as hospitals, colleges anduniversities, museums and opera companies by corporations and foundations last year.

    Recall if you will the solemn warning of corporate and foundation leaders that theinstitutions they represent simply cannot make up for the reductions in Federal support,and that the arts in particular may suffer. 'There is no way we can underwrite all thatour art-hungry nation demands', says Frank Saunders, Vice-President of Philip Morris, atraditional supporter of the arts. 'Foundations have little leeway to help', notes AlanPifer, President Emeritus of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. A 1983 survey ofcorporate CEOs predicted that in the future, corporate philanthropy would focus moreon medicine, education and social services and less on culture and the arts. The largestcorporate philanthropist, Exxon, decided to transfer over $3 million that year from artsand public television to other types of philanthropy.

    But the Administration's attacks on funds for opera and other arts are not the onlyactions that should alarm us. I draw to your attention the implications for the arts ofthe Administration's so-called 'tax reform' plan submitted to Congress last spring andnow under consideration in the House Ways and Means Committee. I would note particularlythe danger to the arts in the proposed new provisions on charitable contributions, tax-exempt financing, business expenses and the deductibility of state and local taxes.

    The Reagan plan would in two ways weaken incentives to individuals to make donationsto the arts. First, as you know, the Administration wants to deny taxpayers who donot itemize their deductions the right to claim charitable contributions, a move thatwould reduce total giving to the arts and for other philanthropic purposes in 1986 aloneby an estimated $6 billion. I should note that the House Ways and Means Committeehas voted to modify the President's plan by allowing non-itemizers to deduct contributionsin excess of $100. Second, Mr. Reagan would work a special hardship on museums,colleges, universities, and other educational and cultural institutions by changing the taxrules for persons on whom such institutions very much depend - the ones who would paythe new alternative minimum tax. Under Treasury II these persons would be taxed onthe appreciated portion of gifts of property, significantly diminishing their incentive togive. Moreover, both the Reagan and House Ways and Means proposals would severelylimit access on the part of all private, non-profit entities, including opera companies,theaters, museums, hospitals, social service agencies, and colleges and universities to thetax-exempt bond market.

    -7 -

  • The House Ways and Means Committee, just last Friday, adopted a provision that wouldimpose statewide and institutional caps on tax-exempt financing available to private,non-profit groups. Under the statewide cap, in New York State, all such organizations,taken together, would be guaranteed only $440 million in tax-exempt bonds. New YorkState last year issued a total of slightly over $3 billion in such bonds for these independentnon-profit groups. The result of this cap would be to pit independent arts, charitableand education institutions against one another and against other non-governmental entitiessuch as mass transit for access to a vastly diminished tax-exempt bond market. Thesecond volume cap in the Ways and Means plan would be a limit of $150 million pereach institution, except hospitals. And as most of you know better than I, there is deepapprehension in the theater and opera community about the proposed elimination ofbusiness deductions for tickets and other entertainment expenses. Finally, the proposalto disallow deductions for state and local taxes is not only a savage blow at local publicschools in every school district in the United States. To the extent that there has beenan increase in state and local support for the arts, elimination of deductibility wouldstifle that growth as well.

    The fact is that Ronald Reagan's budget and tax proposals contradict Ronald Reagan'sown philosophy. A President who justifies cuts in Federal funds for opera and the otherarts assumes that private philanthropy and state and local governments can meet theshortfall. On the contrary, all the evidence is that the changes he has asked in the taxlaw would reduce contributions to the arts from non-Federal sources, not increase them.Now, of course, government aide for the arts goes - appropriately - to individual personsand organizations. But I want here to remind you that such support serves a publicpurpose as well.

    [The above tax plan has not been adopted by Congress.]

    . . . 'If history tells us anything, it tells us that the United States, like all other nations,will be measured in the eyes of posterity less by the size of its gross national productand the menace of its military arsenal than by its character and achievement as acivilization.1

    For it is the arts that celebrate the vast and manifold talents of Americans and bindus together as a people over time. The historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., put the pointrecently in eloquent words. Said Schlesinger: 'If history tells us anything, it tells usthat the United States, like all other nations, will be measured in the eyes of posterityless by the size of its gross national product and the menace of its military arsenal thanby its character and achievement as a civilization.' Schlesinger went on to acknowledgethat, 'Government cannot create civilization. Its actions can at best be marginal to theadventure and mystery of art. But public support reinvigorates the understanding of artas a common participation, a common possession and a common heritage.'

    Let me acknowledge and salute some of the members of Congress of both political partieswho are leading the way.

    Now, if I have told you of the present Administration's assault on the arts, I must alsotell you how heartened I have been to see the reforging of coalitions in the country andon Capitol Hill in support of the arts. The success that arts and opera advocates havehad during these past four years in fending off the most drastic attacks on the arts isan encouraging sign that there is a strong constituency in America for them. Let meacknowledge and salute some of the members of Congress of both political parties who


  • are leading the way. I think, for example, of such persons in the Senate as RobertStafford, Republican of Vermont, and Paul Simon, Democrat of Illinois. In the House ofRepresentatives, among the most effective friends of the arts are Congressman ThomasDowney, Democrat of New York, and Jim Jeffords, Republican of Vermont, Chairman andVice-Chairman, respectively, of the Congressional Arts Caucus, one of the largest caucuseson Capitol Hill; and Pat Williams, Democrat of Montana. Here I must single out forspecial mention my old friend, Sidney Yates, Democrat of Illinois, Chairman of the Housesubcommittee with responsibility for appropriations for the arts, for in the early Reaganyears, Congressman Yates was the Dutch boy with his finger in the dike, defending thearts and humanities and museums against the onslaught. Some of you, indeed, may recallhow last February, at the annual meeting of Opera America, Congressman Yates asked,'How long can companies last without adequate help from outside sources, including theUnited States government?1 He promised he would press to hold spending for opera atcurrent levels adding, 'I don't think you will have to reduce the sextet from Lucia to aduet for the sake of economy.1

    So I am very pleased to remind you that in recent months both the House of Representativesand the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to maintain support for the arts nearpresent levels. I am encouraged, too, by the growing support for the arts demonstratedby the nation's governors and mayors, state legislators, and business and foundationleaders. I should mention, for example, that thanks in large part to Mayor Koch, thetotal arts budget for New York City rose from $97.4 million to $129.7 million for fiscalyear 1986, the largest sum the City has ever given to the arts. And on the state level,we count on the brilliant leadership of today's luncheon speaker, Kitty Carlisle Hart,Chairman of the New York State Council on the Arts, who is a great champion of the artsin Albany. That Mrs. Matilda Cuomo will bring greetings from our distinguished Governoris also evidence of the strong support for the arts, shown by the highest official of NewYork State, who, in the past year, increased state funds for the arts from $35.3 to $40.3million. We should acknowledge as well the work of such organizations as the AmericanCouncil for the Arts, on whose board I sit; the American Arts Alliance; the AmericanAssociation of Museums; the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the NationalAssembly of Local Arts Agencies. And I know that statistics from COS have proveninvaluable for arts advocates.

    I should like to offer a few words of counsel for the Americans here this morning as welook to the days ahead. What should we be doing now? . . . It will be up to each of youand those you represent to make clear that the arts matter.

    Finally, of course, we must salute the artists themselves, many of whom have beeneloquent witnesses for the arts before Congress, and in other forums. Certainly, theSenate Appropriation Committee will not soon forget the appearance of Leontyne Pricebefore them in 1981. She sang her testimony to the tune of 'God Bless America'. Bythe way, you may be interested to know that Miss Price is a member of the Board ofTrustees of New York University. Despite the difficulties we face, all these efforts areencouraging. And that is why I believe that with your help and the help of people likeyou all over America we can preserve the momentum for the arts built up over the pasttwo decades.

    As I conclude, I should like to offer a few words of counsel for the Americans herethis morning as we look to the days ahead. What should we be doing now? First, wemust broaden linkages within the cultural community. There are currently more thanone hundred and fifty-eight different national service organizations working on behalfof the arts. We must bring these groups into closer collaboration. Second, we mustcontinue to urge individual patrons, private foundations and the leaders of business and


  • industry to help opera and other cultural institutions more generously than ever before.Let me reiterate, however, that I realize that corporations and foundations can notreplace the reductions in Federal support for the arts, and they should not be expectedto do so. My third observation is this: You and I must make the case with our electedrepresentatives in Washington, D.C. And what is the case? That the arts are essential;the arts are not something to be thrown a bone after everything else is taken care ofbecause everything else will never be taken care of.

    We must remind Mr. Reagan, too, of the close connection between Federal support forthe arts and the wider public interest that they serve. This Administration simply failsto see this nexus. So it will be up to each of you and those you represent to make clearthat the arts matter. For what is, I think, obvious from the record of the NationalEndowment for the Arts and the other Federal programs to support culture is that ournational government, with modest amounts of money, without stifling bureaucratic controland without unwarranted intervention, can provide support for the arts in ways thatgreatly enhance the quality of American life.

    . . . 'I look forward to an America which commands not only for its strength but forits civilization as well.1 It is for such an America that we must all strive.

    I close then with words spoken by President John F. Kennedy in October of 1963; 'Ilook forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we rewardachievement in business or statecraft . . . I look forward to an America which commandsnot only for its strength but for its civilization as well.' It is for such an America thatwe must all strive.

    * * •


  • Friday, November 1, 1985 - 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon


    BYRON BELT, Music Editor, Newhouse Newspapers - ModeratorBRUCE CRAWFORD, General Manager, Metropolitan OperaARDIS KRAINIK, General Manager, Lyric Opera of ChicagoBEVERLY SILLS, General Director, New York City OperaSIR JOHN TOOLEY, General Director, Royal Opera Covent Garden, London

    MARGO BIHDHARDT Thank you Dr. Brademas for an important keynote address. Youhave set a level and a tone to start this conference which I am sure the other panelswill have a hard time living up to. I thank you very much for taking the time from yourvery busy schedule to be with us today.

    I saw that Ardis Krainik has arrived from Chicago. Her plane has landed and she hascome directly to the auditorium. If you will just keep your seats we will go immediatelyto the first panel.

    BYRON BELT I am Byron Belt and I am really touched and moved to be moderator forthis particular panel. I have two words to say prior to our beginning.

    One, I am rather astonished that we are underway for a full hour and the.name of Mrs.August Belmont has not been mentioned - that gracious lady who did more to bring ushere today than any other single person. Her portrait adorns the Belmont room at theMetropolitan. I think she really adorns the hearts and minds of anyone who has beenconcerned with the furtherance of opera as a worldwide beloved art form. Mrs. Belmontcame from the most aristocratic of families and she saw to it that opera became themost democratic of art forms in America. I think we owe her a deep debt of gratitude.[Applause]

    Secondly, the person I am replacing, Robert Jacobson, could not say for himself what Ican say. That is that Opera News has never been better edited than by this man.Robert not only has the professional skills, but he has the moral vision and artisticintegrity to write each week an opening column of great brevity and tremendousintellectual insight. I want to pay my tribute to Bob. He will be fine and we lookforward to future conferences with his deep intelligence and warm leadership. [Applause]

    I have on my panel two of the women who have been most profoundly important in mylife. Not every moderator can say he loves his panelists. [Laughter] But, I think it issafe to say, and probably a few of you share these feelings, I clearly love Ardis Krainikand Beverly Sills. We are going to run the gamut today, since just seeing them andbeing close to them is itself an exciting privilege.

    I won't say as someone once said, when Elisabeth Schwarzkopf walked out on stage inOrchestra Hall, when I was back in the dim days of concert management, Elisabeth lookedso gorgeous and the woman next to me, who was a total stranger, said, 'And she sings,too!' [Laughter] Well, these women sing, too.

    Ardis is lesser known as a singer than Beverly perhaps. [Laughter] I will tell you anintimate story about Ardis Krainik. Years ago, Chicago had a little night club wherepeople got up and sang. Everybody talked, moped and clanked their glasses throughevery performance. There were some wonderful people who sang at this place. Ardisstood up one evening after having said for forty-five minutes, 'Do not ask me, do notask me', she said, 'Aren't you going to ask me to sing?' [Laughter] So, I said, 'Ardisplease sing', and she sang 'My Hero' from The Chocolate Soldier. It was the first and


  • only time in the history of this place that no one breathed. Ardis was and is a verybeautiful artist as well as a wonderful and gifted administrator. I want you to knowabout her singing career because I do not have to tell you anything about the careerof Beverly Sills - about which the more said the better, but the less said today -- so wecan get underway.

    I grew up in Chicago and was for a number of years Assistant Manager to Carol Fox atthe Lyric Opera. Ardis survived twenty-five years or so with that gallant, heroic andcontroversial lady and has become one of the most distinguished managers in the worldof opera today. In Chicago we had a great symphony orchestra before Sir Georg Solti,although from the press, sometimes, you would not know that that was true. FrederickStock, who was one of the great educators and conductors of the twentieth century,ruled the Chicago Symphony with a long and heavy and brillant hand for many years.He was the guest every year of the Businessmen's Orchestra, an amateur organizationthat played a concert or two at Orchestra Hall every year. He was always happy toconduct them. He only said, 'Do not make me go to dinner with them. Those businessmentalk only music' [Laughter] I was thinking of that vaguely this morning, because whenthe public and audiences come together they want to talk about art and artists. Whenopera managers get together, they tend to talk about money.

    Now, I have made myself a promise that money will only dominate this program forfifteen minutes of any person's given time. They can say anything they want. As amatter of fact the way we are going to run this is each of our participants is going tohave some opening remarks on, as Maria Rich put it, 'Anything that is in their head' andwe will hope that some interesting things are in their heads this morning. Then we willhave some repartee between the panelists and then we will open it to the floor. Whenwe go to the floor, would you please go to one of the two microphones and identifyyourself and state your question or thought as simply as possible. This will make for amuch more effective presentation.

    I am going to ask Miss Krainik to speak first. Ardis not only was a classmate of mineat Northwestern and a colleague at Lyric Opera for many years and a dear friend, shehas been described as a miracle worker by almost every writer in America including thisone. She runs a company of great artistic stature and with astonishingly efficient means,keeping it in operation financially and as a public entity. I would like to introduce withgreat pleasure, Miss Ardis Krainik. [Applause]

    ARDIS KRAINIK Thank you very much, Byron, for that very beautiful introduction. Itmakes me feel very special and I feel very special being here today on this celebrationof Central Opera Service and the Metropolitan Opera Guild and I congratulate all of you.I think it is a marvelous occasion and I am very thrilled to be up here on this distinguishedpanel of colleagues, all of whom I love.

    I am bullish on opera in America.

    I would like to start out with something I said at the National Endowment panels. Notso long ago I was the Chairman of the Overview Panel, and I was supposed to make alittle speech to the National Endowment Advisory Council. I started out by saying that Iam bullish on opera in America. I really am. You know you can talk about a half emptycup or a half full cup. I think we ought to talk about the half full cup. In fact, it is alot more full than that.

    In 1954 when Lyric Opera was founded by Carol Fox, there were only about fourteenor fifteen opera companies in America. I can tell you today as a Vice President of


  • Opera America that Opera Ame.'ica reports that there are ninety-six professional operacompanies in America today, sixty of which are considered fully professional and thirty-six are considered correspondent. That is not to mention the hundreds more organizations,most of whom are represented here today as members of the Central Opera Service.

    Of course there are some troubles. . . . But there are just as many and more companiesin the black. . . . We went from nearly one-half million dollars in debt to 3.2 milliondollars in the black last year. ( think that America is no longer a frontier, culturally.

    Of course there are some troubles. I do not pretend there aren't any troubles in opera.There is always trouble in opera, that is the nature of our business. I know that Portlandand Boston have tremendous deficits. I know that Washington Opera has cut back inseason. I know that the Met has some problems. But there are just as many and morecompanies in the black. There are great strengths that are evident. First of all, theMet has gone ahead with its one hundred million centenary fund drive. I am not surewhether you have made your one hundred million or not but that does not matter.However many million they have reached, it is that many more million than they everhad before. I think that is a truly remarkable feat.

    There are two opera companies that have pulled themselves out of very great difficulties.Beverly has surmounted all sorts of financial difficulties - fire and many other things.Terry McEwen in San Francisco has retired his two million dollar deficit in just oneyear. Santa Fe, St. Louis, Mitimi, always operate in the black. Lyric Opera has hadfour very fine years, back to bai:k years of in-the-black operation. We went from nearlyone-half million dollars in debt and a fund of 2.5 million dollars wiped out, to 3.2 milliondollars in the black last year. I think that America is no longer a frontier, culturally.Opera has dug in deep roots. If you want to look at the evidence, one thing that isclearly evident is that the National Endowment for the Arts is celebrating twenty yearsof government partnership with the arts.

    I do not like to be all lumped together with everybody else and homogenized in the bunch.I am a great defender of the individuality of every opera company.

    I think that the major issues foi opera in America in general and for each one of us inparticular are staying alive and faying our bills, serving the public, serving our community,and then growing and progressing and moving forward. I really do not think that weshould generalize where we have been and where we are going, which is the topic ofthis conference. I do not liks to be all lumped together with everybody else andhomogenized in the bunch. I am a great defender of the individuality of every operacompany. So, the answer to where we are going is as different and individual for eachcompany as is its nature and its goals.

    The question is not so much, 'Should we use surtitles? Should we do opera in English?Should we do more contemporary opera? How should we treat traditional works? Shallwe hire avant-garde stage directors?', but rather 'What kind of a company are we? Whatis our philosophical stance?' When you think about some of the great opera companiesof America - and if I may, I am joing to speak primarily about American opera companies- when you look at Santa Fe and St. Louis and Minnesota, Kansas City, the New YorkCity Opera, which is truly a ne.tional opera company, each is unique and individual inits nature. On the other hand, companies like the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco,Chicago, and many others are international companies. By international I mean thosethat compete in the international market place, have very long or longish seasons, use


  • international artists, and adopt international standards. I would like to look at whereopera in America is going and where it should go, through the eyes of, if I may, my own,the individuality of my own company.

    I think it is very important for an opera company like Lyric Opera to chart its coursevery carefully. When I took over as General Manager we had two problems. One ofthem was clearly financial but the other was that we were in kind of a slump. We werefast becoming invisible on the national and international scene. The first order ofbusiness was, of course, to turn the opera company around, financially, as fast as wecould. Much to my complete surprise, we turned it around in one year's time. I couldnot imagine something like that happening. That it did, I was very grateful. A lot ofpeople asked how we did that. I have told everybody how we did it. It is really verysimple. I am sure everyone at this table understands it very well. You do not spendany money when you do not have to. That is a simple little thing I learned at myBohemian daddy's knee. You never spend anything you do not have to spend. My motheroperated that way, too. You examine every hundred dollars of expense, not everythousand or every hundred thousand, but every hundred dollars of expense. Not necessarilyI, but certainly each one of your department heads. You make your budget and thenyou come in under. That is always what you strive for, to come in under the budgetthat you make.

    A balanced repertoire helps bring about a balanced budget . . . Success artistically andfinancially gives the community confidence in you and brings success in fund-raising.

    In Chicago, we have lovely responsibility reports. I have heard that this is unique. Ican not imagine why, because it is the only way that you can really track what youare doing. You make your budget. You feed into your computer what you expect tospend each month and then you check every month to see if you are on target. If youare not on target, why? Then we also have weekly reports that are handed in to meduring the opera season, where we are able to look over each area, throughout theentire opera season, on a weekly basis. Under this circumstance, each department head,of course, has to be tuned in both artistically and financially.

    Byron, I am awfully sorry, but you know everytime you make an artistic decision you havea financial repercussion. So, I can not leave money out of it even while I really wouldlike to talk only about art. The person who said that by the way, every artistic decisionhas a financial repercussion, was Rudolf Bing. It was Verdi himself who said, 'Alwayswatch your box office figures.'

    There are some very interesting things in turning a company around. A balanced repertoirehelps bring about a balanced budget, because with a balanced repertoire you havewonderful ticket sales. With an imbalanced repertoire you do not. Success artisticallyand financially gives the community confidence in you and brings success in fund-raising.All those things have to go hand in hand.

    After we turned the company around, we faced the future. How best to serve ourcommunity, which I think has to be the first thing in your thought . . .

    For me, the big romance of opera is first smashing artistic decisions, wonderfullyimplemented and brought about, but backed up by smashing financial success. Like Romeoand Juliet, art and money can go hand in hand. I think that is the real fun of runningan opera company. Of seeing that everything comes out neat at the end.


  • After we turned the company around, we faced the future. How best to serve ourcommunity, which I think has to be the first thing in your thought - what you are doingfor your community, and then how best to progress and forge ahead. Number one on ourlist was expansion. We have expanded, as I think most of you know, from seven operaslast year, to eight operas this year, to nine operas next year. From fifty-five to sixty-sixto seventy-five performances. This expansion must be funded somewhere and it is beingfunded by a twenty-five million dollar capital drive, the interest of which will keep thedeficit in hand. Right now we are nine million dollars along on this and I expect it tobe very successful. But, as I said before, however much you put away for a capital driveis something you did not have before. Drawing interest on fifteen million dollars ortwenty million dollars is just as nice as drawing interest on twenty-five million dollarsbecause it will fund the expansion that we have planned.

    . . . to get yourself visible from years of not being visible. It is collaboration withyour colleagues in the city. . . . Ravinia, the Symphony, the Art Institute . . .

    The next thing that I thought Lyric Opera had to do was to resume its place on theAmerican and international scene. High visibility through excellent programs. First ofall, we have many collaborations with other companies. The Handel Samson, that wasjust produced in Chicago last week with another performance tonight which I am goingback for, is Jon Vickers' twenty-fifth anniversary. It was produced in collaboration withtwo people at this table, Sir John Tooley, who originated it, and it will soon come to youin New York to the Metropolitan Opera. The Vera Storia which is a new opera byLuciano Berio, was produced on September 30 in Paris in its first Paris version with anew physical production which is shared by Paris, Florence, and the Lyric Opera ofChicago. Orlando, the physical production for Orlando is being built by Terry McEwenin San Francisco and Lyric Opera. Falstaff by San Francisco, Houston and Lyric Opera.Anna Bolena by Canadian Opera and Lyric Opera, and I hear from Lotfi it might even goto London one of these days. These collaborations have two side effects. One of themis that the world perceives us as an international opera company, dealing with itscolleagues in a wonderful way. The other is that it also helps the budget.

    There is another thing that is very important when you are trying to get yourself visiblefrom long, long months and years of not being visible. It is collaboration with yourcolleagues in the city. In Chicago, nobody had ever collaborated. In all the years ofRavinia, the Symphony, the Art Institute, the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Two years ago,Ravinia and Lyric Opera, at my instigation, because I am a big collaborator, did acollaboration on a concert with Luciano Pavarotti. It was a wonderful success. It madeeverybody very happy. We had sixteen thousand people there. We all came home withone hundred thousand dollars apiece. [Laughter] I have another collaboration plannedthat does not make a cent for anybody. In fact, it just spends money. And that I amnot going to tell you just what it is but it is planned for 1987. It is going to includethe Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Art Institute and the Film Festival in Chicago,which I think is a very interesting kind of thing to do. It is innovative and keeps yourvisibility high.

    Artistically, Lyric Opera never did any contemporary work, never did any Americanoperas, never did much twentieth century music. So, our program includes doing thetwentieth century masters that we have not done already. Not repeats, but new ones,for instance, for us, Lulu. Works by Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Jandcek, then Americanpremieres. La Vera Storia will have its American premiere in Chicago in fall of 1986.We want to do little done American works. We are talking about Antony and Cleopatra.Another composer I would like to present to Chicago, because I think Chicago has theright to hear his work, is Philip Glass, who is so popular now.


  • . . . many of you have heard about our innovative composer-in-residence program.

    I hope someday, after my board of directors gets over the million dollars we lost onParadise Lost many years ago before I took over, I hope to have a world premiere ofan opera that we commission. But, I have sneaked one in on my board of directorsunbeknownst to them. I am sure many of you have heard about our innovative composer-in-residence program. We took a young American composer, hopefully, as a service tothe field, to teach a young man how to write for the theater. He turned out to bewonderful. He is going to have his work finished. We are going to produce the worldpremiere of an American opera by an American composer on June 6, 1986. It is not goingto cost very much money. Bill Neel is the composer.

    . . . a Mikado in which the Mikado enters in a red Toyota and all of the gentlemenfrom Japan are dressed in identical Brooks Brothers suits.

    We would like to do baroque operas. We are doing that especially in this Handel year.I think that every company, Lyric Opera especially, must do innovative things. WhenMatthew Epstein said, to me, 'You ought to pay attention to this guy Peter Sellers. Ithink that you ought to consider him for Mt/cado', which was the first thing that myadministration did from scratch. Matthew said, 'I saw him on the street. We weretalking about the Mikado and Peter would like to do a Mikado in which the Mikado entersin a red Toyota and all of the gentlemen from Japan are dressed in identical BrooksBrothers suits.' [Laughter] That attracted me immediately. For many reasons, not justbecause it was an innovation for innovation's sake, but because this was a new name onthe musical and theatrical horizon that had never before been in an American operahouse. So we took this brilliant genius, Peter Sellers, and put on his brilliant, hystericallyfunny Mikado in Chicago in 1983. And we began a new era for our opera company withthat very simple and fun work, moving away from tradition towards something that isinteresting, worthwhile and, in this case, very successful. About two inches thick ofpress notices throughout America - if you are looking for visibility for a company thatis trying to move forward, that is certainly another way to do it. All of this has to bedone, of course, within a nice balanced framework of tried and true, and not so fast sothat you lose your audience. We do not want the audience to desert us.

    American opera's future, I believe, is secure because we are a house of stone, built onthe solid foundation of artistic excellence and good management.

    Other important planks for Lyric these last five years have been our educational program,with special emphasis on our Lyric Opera Center for American Artists which is a year-round studio for young Americans; then, of course, radio and TV. We do not make anymoney on radio and TV, but what we do is demonstrate to the world that we are aninternational opera company. This year we did Eugene Onegin and next year we willdo Madama Butterfly, and every spring we have a radio syndication, which, I am sure,most of you hear in your cities.

    I used Lyric Opera of Chicago as an example of what I think is being done and shouldbe done in America today. Not because I want to put Lyric Opera forward as somegreat important thing, more important than anyone else. Not at all. The things we aredoing at Lyric Opera of Chicago for opera in America is not at all unique. I feel thatthese efforts are being duplicated by every forward looking opera company all over


  • America. Yes, I think that American opera is going somewhere. We are not just a houseof cards that is going to fall down together at the slightest touch. American opera'sfuture, I believe, is secure because we are a house of stone, built on the solid foundationof artistic excellence and good management. [Applause]

    BYRON BELT Miss Krainik is clearly a woman not only of ideas, but the ability toexpress them. She was trained as a theater person at Northwestern University. Shehas made good use of that training in every day of her life.

    A new voice in the world of opera has come to the Metropolitan as its new GeneralManger and I would like to ask Mr. Bruce Crawford to speak next. Mr. Crawford sort ofput his feet in the water at the Chicago Conference. I think those of us who spoke withhim and who listened to him realized that it is indeed possible and probably wise for aperson of business background to come into a crucial position of power in the country'slargest opera company. It is with great pleasure that we welcome him as a guest forthis fiftieth anniversary Guild celebration and the hundred and second season of theMetropolitan Opera. [Applause]

    After six weeks we will have probably played to about one hundred and fifty thousandpeople who would have spent between five and six million dollars . . .

    BRUCE CRAWFORD As usual I can not differ with Ardis on anything. In fact, she didme in on a rather commercial note using a famous advertising metaphor, the cup half fullor half empty. I will only attempt to say a few words following the general directionthat Ardis has taken, which is, that certainly in my involvement and entry into this fieldI am nothing but optimistic, although, indeed, there are plenty of problems to be solved.There is also a tremendous demand, a tremendous interest in opera which is still, if youwill, in an infant stage. I think that a lot of figures have been cited this morning aboutthe number of opera companies as opposed to twenty years ago; the number of liveperformances, etc.

    I think we sometimes lose track of just how much demand there is. For instance, at theMet we are now finishing our sixth week of the season. After six weeks we will haveprobably played to about one hundred and fifty thousand people who would have spentbetween five and six million dollars in those first six weeks. I think it is remarkable thatwe are able to mount a new production such as Khovanshchina, which has not been atthe Metropolitan Opera for thirty-five years, a difficult opera, indeed nowhere near anystandard repertory and unknown to most of our audience today, and yet the first tenperformances, although not sold out, but still playing to about thirty or thirty-fivethousand people who will spend about one million and a half dollars. That certainlysays something to me about vitality.

    . . . very important and a very large future in terms of the broadcast media. . . . operaspackaged for home viewing . . . is no threat to live performances. In fact, I think thatthis is a great opportunity to build audiences.

    I think that basically our optimism has to be centered not only on what our opera houseswill be able to do in terms of the live performance, but there is a very important and avery large future in terms of the broadcast media. I think that already we have seen, andI think this is extraordinarily important, audience building just as radio has done for thelast forty odd years. We, at the Met, have now had over forty original telecasts onpublic broadcasting with one repeat each. We are involved now in distribution in laser


  • discs and have signed finally an agreement with Paramount for distribution over the nextthirty months of eighteen operas of the forty tapes that we have. I think that we willsee all of this broaden. In this country, we also have operas from Europe being distributedby Thorn EMI. We find a lot of opera on television other than the Metropolitan Opera.I think that probably in another five, six years the whole video entertainment industrywill really come to maturity in this country. We will see pay-for-view television inwhich operas will be able to be packaged in subscription form for home viewingentertainment. This is no threat to live performances. In fact, as I said, I think that thisis a great opportunity to build audiences.

    I believe that there will be a great many more developments. I think that probably thegreatest need at the Met and at other opera companies, and for all the people that workon behalf of opera both here and abroad, is better and better organization, bettermanagement, more dedication and certainly more optimism. I have no reason to believethat there is any major impediment to achieving what we are all trying to do. [Applause]

    BYRON BELT The lady who needs no introduction is going to come next. If you sawthat exquisite production of Rondine and - incidentally I have told Ardis this, I thoughtthat the production of Eugene Onegin was one of the most gorgeous things I ever sawon television from Lyric. The City Opera's La Rodine was certainly an opera made fortelevision, and made for the New York City Opera, coming late in its life to both theNew York City Opera and to Lyric this year. On that show a lady in a lovely greengown looked perfectly smashing. Beverly has looked perfectly smashing to me ever sincethe first time I saw her and that was many - that was a few seasons ago, [Laughter]when she was a girl named Baby Doe. Speaking of stars, with Norman Treigel, FrancisBibel, Beverly Sills and Walter Cassel you had a terrific cast in the days of the so-called starless company.

    New York City Opera does play a very special role in America. We have the EnglishNational Opera in London and we have the Royal Opera in London and we have theMetropolitan Opera in New York and we have the New York City Opera in New York. Ina sense, each of these is a truly national institution. As spokesperson, after years ofbeing one of the great and divinely gifted stage performers of all time, Beverly Sills isone of the most energetic and certainly one of the most articulate spokespersons forthe arts. Not only in Washington but right here this morning. [Applause]

    We are a feeder company to all the great companies in our country and in Europe aswell. . . . an extremely happy occasion when we can crisscross across the plaza.

    BEVERLY SILLS Thank you. You have me in a very mellow mood today. Yesterday wasmy thirtieth anniversary of my debut at the City Opera. I woke up this morning feelingone hundred and four. [Laughter] I am not going to take much of your time. I amvery happy to find myself head of one of the two opera companies at Lincoln Center,because Mr. Crawford and I have had some very nice luncheons together and are enjoying,I think, a very nice, special relationship. We are two different companies. We bothrecognize that. I want to put to bed the question of whether I resent the fact that theMet has a great many of our singers. Quite the contrary. We are both very proud andpleased of the exchange. We are a feeder company to all the great companies in ourcountry and in Europe as well. So, I find it an extremely happy occasion when we cancrisscross across the plaza.

    I am also quite euphoric today because we have only sixteen days left to a twenty-one-week season, which, thank heaven, from an artistic and a financial point of view hasbeen most successful. We, of course, did have the catastrophe of a seven million dollar


  • fire, destroying the costumes for seventy-four productions. In a sense, it is a new startand we are trying to look at it from that point of view.

    . . . the three panelists with me - I would like to tell you a little bit about their reactionto the New York City Opera catastrophe. As the ashes were still smoldering . . .

    But, this gives me an opportunity to do what I have been hoping I would have a chanceto do. I never dreamed I could do it in one fell swoop. The three people sitting next tome, not Byron whom I do love too, but the three panelists with me - I would like to tellyou a little bit about their reaction to the New York City Opera catastrophe. As theashes were still smoldering, Mr. Crawford phoned me and made one of the most generousoffers. That is to allow our costume person to go into the warehouse and make aselection of what we thought we could use. He would see what he could do aboutarranging it. The magnitude of that gift will be announced in January. It is anastonishing gift and I am very touched by it. It really will save our lives for the '86season. Five minutes after that call, Ardis phoned me and said, 'Short of sewing, which Ido not like to do, I will do anything I can to help you.' A few days later, one of themost touching letters came from Sir John Tooley, saying that his costume person would bein touch with our costume person to see what could be done to help us out of thetrouble. So, this gives me an opportunity to thank you. I was very touched. I do feelwith this spirit of caring for one another we will survive.

    Having said those nice things, I would like to just touch very briefly on the other side ofthe coin. Because I, too, serve on a lot of panels and conferences and so forth. As amatter of fact, I was just leaving the panel as Ardis was coming on at the NationalEndowment.

    . . . there is quite a lot of back biting and bad-mouthing of each other on these NEA panels.

    The one unpleasant aspect that I would like to discuss very briefly is, that I find thereis quite a lot of back biting and bad-mouthing of each other on these panels. We areless supportive than we should be. I was really rather astonished, and I do not considermyself to be a naive, unworldly woman. I was very upset by some of the descriptionsof some of my colleagues' work when their applications were discussed. When theNational Endowment asked that for the next panel would I invite one of our boardmembers to come, because they thought it would be an interesting experience for aboard member to see the inner workings of the NEA, and, of course, I did. We supplieda board member, who came back trembling from the experience. It seemed that some ofthe panel members did not realize that he was from the New York City Opera board andhad some interesting things to say. It is not to our mutual advantage to put each otherdown. It is to our mutual advantage to get as much as we can for each other, becausethe higher level we achieve for the next fellow, that sets the precedent when our ownturn comes. So, I just want to call that to everyone's attention. Perhaps it is the heatof the competition for the fund-raising. We are all so busy with our tin cups that wemay lose sight of the fact that we really are a part of one rather large family trying todo exactly the same thing. As Ardis pointed out, at different levels and in differentmanners and styles, but nevertheless, it all boils down to the same thing. I find that avery unpleasant and very unsettling trend which I hope will come to an end just asabruptly as it seems to have entered our lives. Apart from that I am very pleased to behere and see a lot of old friends whom I have not seen since my old singing days. It isnice to be with you again. [Applause]


  • BYRON BELT Those of us who are fortunate enough to travel in the world of opera,probably always have a special thrill when we sit at the Royal Opera at Covent Garden.For me, seeing those magnificent red curtains with ER II as they part is a moment ofspecial magic. The relationship between the English opera companies and American operacompanies is far more intimate than we think. The exchange of artists, as Ardis indicated,on the international level is remarkable. On any given day you can find productions orsingers or conductors or stage directors and designers appearing in London, Paris, Chicago,Houston and New York. This does not make for the sameness that Ardis said we mustavoid. It seems to make for a challenge because each of these artists is in a newsituation however familiar the scenery or the colleagues may be.

    As director of one of the world's great opera companies and one that is visibleinternationally because of television particularly, it is a great pleasure to have as ourvery special guest from England, Sir John Tooley, the General Director of the RoyalOpera Covent Garden. [Applause]

    . . . it is encumbent upon all of us to keep asking the question 'Has it not becomeunnecessarily expensive?'

    SIR JOHN TOOLEY Ladies and gentlemen. It is a great pleasure and honor for me tobe here today. Now, I do not propose to talk about Covent Garden at all. I would like,on the other hand, to make a few general comments about opera, opera as I see itworldwide. Statements which, because of time, have to be generalized, and obviouslythere are exceptions to what I am about to say. But, I believe there are points whichdo concern us all.

    We are all aware that the art form which enthralls us either as managers, performers oras spectators, is the most expensive that man has ever devised. I believe, nevertheless, itis encumbent upon all of us to keep asking the question 'Has it not become unnecessarilyexpensive?' I think it behooves us to ask that question in a world which is increasinglyunstable, politically and economically, where politicians are more and more hard pressedto protect the arts in countries where they are working. It is quite clear that in theUnited Kingdom, for example, where the economy of the country is not as good as wewould all like it to be, where there is a tremendous drive to cut taxation and at thesame time to reduce public expenditure, it becomes increasingly difficult for all politicians,whatever their convictions may be, to defend the arts and the level of subsidy whichthe arts would ideally require against cuts in the health services, cuts in education, cutsin all sorts of public services. Therefore, with that sort of background, and that Isuggest does apply to America, where there is very little direct public funding of thearts, but where you are dependent on indirect public funding, politicians and politicians'reputations are still at stake, as they stand up to defend the whole question of director indirect funding.

    . . . underneath that gloss the real truth about opera is in danger of being lost.

    As we ask that question, 'Is opera unnecessarily expensive?' - I do it for reasons otherthan purely financial - I have a terrible feeling in my bones. This is a sweepinggeneralized statement but nonetheless, I will make it. I have a terrible feeling that thereis a gloss that is now going across, generally, a gloss which tends to be the product ofself-indulgence on some people's parts. It tends to be a gloss as a result of peoplebeing unwilling to rehearse as much as we ideally want them to rehearse. I believethat underneath that gloss the real truth about opera is in danger of being lost.


  • . . . t h e whole point o f opera . . . i s t h e ques t o f drama through music.

    Now, ladies and gentlemen, the whole point of opera, I suggest, is simply this. It is thequest of drama through music. I do believe that that very basic fundamental point aboutopera and this art form to which we are all devoted, is in this day and age in dangerof being set to one side. Set to one side for all sorts of reasons, not necessarilyeconomic, because again I am of the view that perhaps with more innovative approachesto opera, with approaches which are searching out the truth all the time and are notconcealing those truths because people have other ideas about how a particular operashould be presented, that maybe we can achieve for ourselves, at the end of the day,a better artistic as well as financial outcome.

    This is going to require acts of faith on the part of management which maybe we havebeen reluctant to put forward. Some of us sit and preside over institutions which, youmight say, are a bit conventional, a bit staid. There is a public expectation for somethingwithin that view of what an organization is. I believe that we have reached a point inour lives, and this is not only the result of artistic pressures, I believe it is this continuoussearch for artistic integrity that we have to look again at what we are doing.

    . . . on opening night we can truthfully say to ourselves that this is the best we can do.We have sorted out the truth about the piece and can be proud of the achievement.

    In urging that notion upon you, I hope that this can lead to a discussion about opera,the nature of opera. That in pursuing this idea, we are going back to certain basics,to certain principles of the presentation of opera through conductors, producers, designers,working as a team, being together right from the beginning. For them to have time totalk to each other, time to plan, time to be at every rehearsal that exists. Singers tobe present at every rehearsal there is. So that in fact, when we get on to the stageon opening night we can truthfully say to ourselves that this is the best we can do. Wehave sorted out the truth about the piece that we are presenting, and we can standthere and be proud of the achievement.

    I somehow feel at the moment that not all of us can actually do that, for a whole massof reasons. Some of the reasons are beyond our control such as the jet age. We allknow about that. We know the increasing pressure to which singers have been exposed asa result of the ease of travel. We know, too, how desperate people are always to behere, there and everywhere. I think we have reached a point where we need to lookat ourselves again, to reform ourselves and to go into the decade with maybe differentattitudes and the achievement of certain objects, which I believe lie behind the real andserious presentation of opera. Thank you. [Applause]

    Very often the opening night tends to be a dress rehearsal. . . . Why aren't we quite ready?

    BYRON BELT Thank you, Sir John. If we may pick up from something just indicated,and that is a feeling that management is, or if it is not should be, apologetic for anopening night performance. Very often the opening night tends to be a dress rehearsal.We have just gone through that in San Francisco, both with the opera and the symphony,at a point in which management discussed with the press this problem of not being reallyquite ready. Why aren't we quite ready? Is it strictly financial? Is it because peopleare flying in at the last minute? Each person here may have a different answer.


  • SIR JOHN TOOLEY I think that one has to be careful about the kind of generalizationin which I have just indulged. Because you must accept the fact, as I certainly do,that singers, stage producers, conductors, those directly involved with the performances,are very serious people. But I think that there is a danger today of people believingthat, 'Well, you know, I have sung this role thirty times. What is so and so going to tellme about it. How can I do it differently? Somebody else wants me to sing during thefirst week of rehearsal. Maybe I can come to some arrangement with the managementand maybe that management is going to be very generous to me and let me go off and singa couple of performances.1 And so days get lost, or, at the end of the day, valuabletime has been lost.

    . . . a very special skill on the part of producers and musicians of deciding exactly howfar you go in rehearsal.

    Yes, I think that sometimes we get to first nights where things are not as well preparedas we perhaps would like them to be. On the other hand, there are some who believe inthis technique of leaving people in a not totally completed situation as far as rehearsalis concerned. They leave them slightly on the edge of their seats, wondering what, infact, is actually going to happen. Because, by that method you can sometimes achievea most startling performance. That was a technique which the late lamented Sir ThomasBeecham used to indulge in with his orchestra. He was not a very good rehearseranyway. What he fervently believed in was a situation in which you went through certainpieces, if in fact that was indeed necessary, but you did not over-rehearse it. Becauseas Sir Thomas used to say, 'It is very important that they do not know what I am going todo and I do not know what they are going to do. [Laughter] And therefore you get agood performance.' I am not suggesting it for something quite as complicated as opera.But I am sure Beverly would agree with this point that there is a very special skill onthe part of producers and musicians of deciding exactly how far you go in rehearsal.

    Sometimes you can go way over the top. I had one first night quite recently which wasactually less good than the general rehearsal, because the general rehearsal was really,too good. Instead, we should have actually opened on the general rehearsal and madethe first performance the second performance. No general rule to that.

    BEVERLY SILLS I'll be next. I wish I had two heads to put my two hats on, because, asa singer, I was, of course, a guilty party to that instant opera. There was a productionof The Daughter of the Regiment which I believe I took to thirty-six cities. Generally,arriving on Monday, dress rehearsal Thursday, performing Friday night and Sunday matinee,taking home an enormous sum of money and moving on to the next. It was called aTTMAR, 'Take the money and run.' It was very unsatisfactory from my own point ofview, since I used to consider myself a singing actress or an acting singer. There wasa period of time where it was printed that I was the highest paid opera singer in theworld. Therefore, I thought I would cash in on it and make my fortune, which I did.

    I would be hypercritical not to in some way defend the side of some of the superstarstoday, because I was a culprit as well. Yet, you must admit that we serve our purpose . . .

    From the managers point of view, the side of which I was not sitting on at that moment,I was called the loss leader. What that meant was that there were five operas to be soldon subscription and you wanted to hear Beverly Sills, whoever she used to be, sing inThe Daugher of the Regiment, you had to buy the entire subscription. Therefore, hire

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  • good old Beverly and you sold out your season. So, we served a purpose for each other.I got rich and you sold all your subscriptions.

    Now I will put my hat on the manager's head. Because from my point of view, of course,I find that abominable. [Laughter] Therefore, you must realize how fortunate I am. Iwork in a company that does not have a star system. We are a repertory company.Seven-eighths of my people are employed on a weekly salary for the entire season.There are the few others like Sam Ramey, as an example, who is coming in for DonQuichotte, has given me a five-week rehearsal period, and two and one half more weeksto get three or possibly four performances in, if I can, depending upon how the subscriptionseries work. But, I, of course, do not have the problem of the superstar who can takethe jet plane and command any fee and walk in and do his performance of whatever. So,as Ardis was saying before, each one of us has unique problems. I have other problemsthat are unique that would not either touch Bruce or Ardis or Sir John. But the oneproblem I do not have is the flying-in superstar, because we do not have any. We donot employ them. So, from that point of view we do a little bit better.

    But I certainly am in sympathy with you. I would be hypercritical not to in some waydefend the side of some of the superstars today, because I was a culprit as well. Yet,you must admit that we serve our purpose, as I served my purpose. Every once in awhile somebody would come up with a project that so fascinated me that I was willingto give any amount of time, if somebody would just ask for it. When Mr. Adler came tome with a project that really intrigued me, Mr. Gedda and I stayed in San Francisco forsix solid weeks, but we were in on the new production. We watched it being constructed.It was a fascinating time for us. Perhaps the time has come to be more demanding.Unfortunately, I can not really speak to the problem and, thank heaven, as a manager Ido not have to.

    . . . if the tenor is late, the soprano will be sick.

    BRUCE CRAWFORD Well, certainly my recent experience has been that, if the tenoris late, the soprano will be sick. Consequently, rehearsals will be eight days late, and wedo indeed have that problem. I think beyond that problem, however, there is a feelingin most of the people at the Met, connected to any new production, that it would be alot fairer if, as on Broadway, there were three or four performances before the reviews,because the rehearsal period is never long enough. It is particularly not long enough ifthe director happens to be someone who is used to Glynebourne or some place wherehe really can take a great deal of time. But, on the other hand, for our new productions- the Figaro that is coming up, etc. - it is not as limited as people might think. Weare talking about three or four weeks, usually about four weeks of rehearsal time, andfor an international house that is quite substantial.

    . . . on balance . . . at the Met with four new productions, lateness, illness, all of that,really only influences one out of four.

    Actually, we are on the semi-stagione system which permits us to do many more rehearsalsthan some houses. But it is not enough. There is no doubt the feeling of everyoneinvolved is that it would be better if the first night were the fourth night and they arealways going to feel that way. We are always going to have, I think, superstars that donot adhere to the rehearsal schedule and other problems.

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  • I would say, however, on balance, if I look at the current season and when we take aseason at the Met with four new productions, that lateness, illness, all of that, reallyonly influences one out of four. Three out of four go pretty much the way we wouldexpect them to do. Everybody is there on time. Everybody has been there from dayone even including our opening night this year, the tenor and the soprano, Luciano andMadame Caballe', were there for the first day of rehearsal, though Madam